Thursday, January 28, 2010

Is that 4 (Road Wins) in a row? Bulls finally at .500 again!

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls won their 4 straight road game last night with a 96-86 victory over the OKC Thunder. Derrick Rose was fantastic pouring in a total of 26 points and 7 assists. Rose took over in the 4th quarter and pounded dagger after dagger to the Thunder including a ridiculous slam dunk in the final 2 minutes. Taj Gibson was insane on the glass with 15 rebounds, Luol Deng had 17 points going 3-4 from downtown. Joakim Noah had another double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. New Bulls guard Devin Brown sat out after not being able to participate in the morning shootaround. VDN wanted him to understand the "system" and get him properly acclimated before throwing him into an actual a game. Look for Brown to make his season debut with the Bulls against his former team, the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.

With this win the Bulls improve to .500. A month ago, this was thought to be impossible. At this point last season (after 44 games) the Bulls were 18-26 so the Bulls are already off to a decent start even without Ben Gordon. 19 more wins and the Bulls will match last years record. Chicago is currently sitting as the #7 seed in the East. If the playoffs started today, we'd have an epic rematch of last years series with the Bostons Celtics.

While winning is great, the only downside to the Bulls doing this well on a roadtrip is that the front office might be reluctant to pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade. The Bulls have been winning games with Hinrich starting and Salmons coming off the bench. My gut feeling is that Salmons will be dealt by the end of February. Hinrich is overvalued and I doubt will never be traded. With Devin Brown coming off the bench, Salmons looks very expendable. I could also see Brad Miller leaving if an all-star like NBA big is brought in or just another expiring big.

The Bulls look to extend their win streak to 5 when they visit Aaron Gray and the New Orleans Hornets Friday night @ 8 p.m. on CSN-Chicago and NBA League Pass.